By Calvin Palmer
A Texas landowner and his wife took turns to fire shots at four people they believed were trespassing on their property last night, critically injuring two of them, police said today.
Gale and Sheila Muhs, both 45, are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after taking one shot each at the group with a 12-gauge shotgun, said Liberty County Chief Deputy Ken DeFoor.
Donald Coffey Sr., 36, was driving an SUV and friend Patrick Cammack, 30, was driving a Jeep on County Road 443 to a residential levee in the Westlake subdivision near the Trinity River in the Dayton area. With them were Coffee’s children, seven-year-old Donald Jr. and five-year-old Destiny.
Witnesses say the men stopped the vehicles to let the children go to the bathroom. The accused couple then allegedly opened fire from about 40 yards away, striking Donald Jr and Cammack in the head and Destiny in the right elbow.
DeFoor said Sheila Muhs called 911 and said: “They’re running over our dikes in big-wheel vehicles and I shot them.”
An 11-year-old boy told investigators the victims were not driving over the dikes but were on the roadway and had pulled over.
DeFoor said: “As far as I can tell they just shot blindly at the vehicles with a 12-guage shotgun.”
The right rear window of the SUV was shattered and the Jeep had pellets in it. It was not clear whether the victims were inside one or both vehicles or outside when the shooting occurred.
After the victims were shot they were driven to the nearby Westlake Volunteer Fire Department, where they received emergency aid before being airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center.
A hospital spokesperson said today Cammack and Donald Jr. were in critical condition; Destiny was in good condition.
Donald Coffey Sr. had a pellet wound in the shoulder and drove himself to the hospital, where he was treated and discharged.
Investigators said he has been too distraught to do a comprehensive interview with deputies.
The levee belongs to the subdivision and not to the couple, authorities said.
[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]